In Texas distinguishing between separate and community property is an important
step in the
divorce process when it comes to dividing property. This is because a spouse keeps all
of his or her separate property. By contrast community property is subject
to division by the divorcing spouses.
One Texas Appellate Court says U.S. Social Security benefits are Separate Property
In the 2013
divorce case "In re Marriage of Everse" out of Amarillo new case law was
made. In that case the Court found that no previous
Texas divorce case had considered section 407(a) of the Social Security Act and whether it
precluded “a just and right division of Social Security benefits
already received, but courts in other states have applied section 407(a)
to their laws regarding division of marital property.”
After considered the facts in and Idaho case Bowlden v. Bowlden,794 P.2d
1145 (Idaho Ct. App. 1989), remanded, 794 P.2d 1140 (1990). The Amarillo
court adopted the reasoning of the Idaho court and other courts that the
Supremacy Clause of the US Constitution causes federal statutes to supersede
state family law with regard to Social Security benefits. As such the
Amarillo Court agreed that Social Security are separate property.
Foreign Social Security May Not Be Separate Property
The same court found that the husband in the case had presented sufficient
evidence to find that his Dutch Social Security benefits were separate
property. The Appellate Court did not provide any guidance on what would
be sufficient for foreign Social Security to be a person’s separate property.
What does this mean?
It means that U.S. Social Security Benefits are arguably separate property
in Texas. There are 14 Courts of Appeals in Texas and 1 Court has ruled
they are separate property. When reviewing this case I could not find
any other supporting cases from any of the other Courts of Appeal in Texas.
This means the other Courts of Appeal could rule for this case or against.
This means that in some parts of Texas U.S. Social Security could be separate
while it is community property in others. We will have to wait and see.
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Other Articles you may be interested in:
- Dividing Property in a Texas Divorce - The Just and Right Division
- Why is Separate Property Important and How to Keep it Separate in a Texas Divorce?
- What Wikipedia Can’t Tell you About Texas Divorce and Marital Property Division
- Texas Divorce Property Division Enforcement
- Separate Property in a Texas Divorce?
- Does it Matter Whose Name is on Title or Deed of Property in a Divorce in Texas?
- Business Owners and Business Assets in a Texas Divorce
- What to do when your divorce decree does not include a marital asset?
- High Net Worth Divorce / High Asset Divorce
Law Office of Bryan Fagan | Spring Divorce Lawyers
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